Suck it up Butter Cup and Get Back in the Game

It is what it is – either change it or change the way you’re thinking about it because you’re letting it hold you back. As Larry Winget  would say “Shut up – Stop Whining – And Get a Life“. Stop complaining about it. Feeling sorry for yourself is a waste of energy. Use that energy to put a plan together to get you to where you’d rather be. Your future is not in your past – so don’t live there. Stop playing the victim of circumstance. Reality is – bad things happen to good people – so suck it up butter cup and get back in the game.

Take a moment and try this exercise. Grab a blank sheet of paper and a pen. I want you to think outside the box for a moment. In a perfect world what would you love to do? What would you rather be doing then what you are doing right now? Don’t set your sights too low. I want you to think big and dream bigger. What would be your ideal career? Think about that question for moment and then write it down.  Now list all the things that need to happen for you to land your dream job. What new skills will you need to learn? What clubs, associations or networking groups should you join? Do a “Google” search and find out who is already doing what you want to do. I want you to contact at least five people and interview them to find out how they did it. You don’t have to have all the answers. You just need to know who to go to and ask.

Congratulations. You’ve taken the most important step towards your future. You’ve taken the “First” step. The first step is sometimes the hardest step to take . Nothing happens by chance. You’ve now put a plan together to get you to where you’d rather be. Now go out and start working your plan. Have faith in yourself. You are capable of doing anything that you truly believe you can do. There is nothing getting in your way of doing what you truly want to do – but YOU. All you need to do is learn how to get out of your own way.

I want you to take that “To-Do” list and post it on your fridge, the bathroom mirror, on your desk – post it where you’ll see it everyday. “To-Do” lists are great because they give us a sense of direction. They help us focus on what’s important. They are a constant reminder of where we’ve been – but more importantly – where we are going.  You’ll love the feeling you’ll get when you complete one of the tasks on your list and you get to cross it off .  It will motivate you to keep going.  There is nothing like the sense of accomplishment to spur us on to do more. It’s like licking a 9 volt battery. If you love that feeling – you’ll do it again.

Anytime is a great time to start a new beginning. Anytime is a great time to write that book, record that CD, sign up for those art lessons and paint that landscape. Anytime is a great time to get into business for yourself, to go back to school or become a conisour of fine wines. You are never, ever too old. The brain has the capacity to learn new things – to get rewired – to take you to where you want to go. Anytime is a great time to start a new beginning so you might as well start now. Think BIG – Dream BIGGER – 🙂

Leadership Lessons – If You Aren’t PLOCing You Ain’t Leading 3

Chickens do it, good managers do it and leaders need to do it too. If you’re not PLOCing – you’re not leading. If you’re not PLOCing you’re just wishing and hoping things will turn out all right. When managing or leading others you can’t leave things to chance. You have to be both an efficient and effective PLOCer.

To be a good PLOCer you need to be able to do three things very well. You need to be able to communicate, educate and delegate both effectively and efficiently. You can have one without the other – but that’s not going to get you to where you and your organization need to be on time and on budget. You can be effective in completing a task or reaching an objective but not efficient because it took you and your team too long to accomplish it – or you had to redo it because it wasn’t done satisfactorily the first time.

Worth Remembering …

“For all the fashionable hype about leadership, it is unfashionable management that is being practiced and its fundamental characteristics have not changed.” – Hales

Learn to PLOC your way to success.

Plan:  You need to be very clear on what you want to accomplish and then put a plan together that will accomplish that task. If you can’t explain what you want to do and how you want to go about doing it to a 5-year-old – than you don’t understand it well enough yourself. However, keep in mind that there is no such thing as a perfect plan. Don’t wait for perfect before you start. You can tweak it as you go along. Stop procrastinating and get doing.

Lead: You need to lead by example. Your team is looking to you for direction. You set the pace – You set the tone. And you can’t do that by sitting in your office. Leaders need to be both seen and heard. Manage by walking around. Be prepared to roll-up your sleeves when the situation warrants it. You shouldn’t ask someone else to do something that you aren’t prepared to do yourself. However, good leaders allow others to lead if there is someone else on their team who can perform a task better than they can.

Organize: Productivity is still the name of the game. You must minimize the input to maximize the output. You need to ensure that you are getting a significant return on your most precious resource – your time and your team’s time. Start off each day knowing what needs to be accomplished that day – who is going to do it – how it’s going to be done – how long it’s going to take to complete the task and when it needs to be completed by.

Control: People do what you inspect not what you expect. Your job is to monitor your team’s performance and remove any obstacles that are getting in their way. You can control the outcome by making sure they know what is expected of them. You can control the outcome by making sure they have all the tools they’ll need to do the job and complete the task on time and on budget. You can control the outcome by making sure you have the right people, doing the right task – at the right time.

Remember to Communicate often – Let your people know how they are doing (good or bad). Educate them by making sure they know how to perform the task and if they don’t teach them how. And Delegate the task to those who are capable of accomplishing what you set out to do. And then get out of their way and let them do it. (Resist the urge to micro-manage)

PLOCing may be for the birds – but, it’s good for managers and leaders too. 😉

Life Lessons – Selling Yourself is a Contact Sport

Everybody sells. We are always selling something.  Selling involves one person communicating with an individual or group to make a sale – to persuade a client to buy something  – a product, a service, a good idea or something that satisfies your needs or their needs on a personal level , or on a business level when an individual is purchasing for a company. David Ogilvy, one of the fathers of modern advertising, said it best: “We sell or else.” If you don’t ask – you don’t get. But to get – you’ve got to learn to ask for what you want the right way.

When you think about it – your life is a series of sales presentations. Children develop selling skills early on in life to get what they want. When you want something or someone to do something, you use your selling skills. When you attempt to get a date, ask for a pay raise, provide cost-effective solutions to solve a clients problem or deal with customer service representatives, you are using your personal selling skills. (Mind you some are better at it than others)

Selling is about making a personal “Connection” with your perspective client. Selling is about building a relationship with the person you want to do business with. Selling is a contact sport. If people aren’t buying what you’re selling – than you need to re-evaluate your sales approach. You need to figure out how to get people to like you. (People do  business or hang around with people they like)

Successful salespeople are no longer adversaries who manipulate others for personal gain. Successful salespeople are consultants, partners and problem solvers. A successful salesperson’s goal is to build a long-term relationship with their clients. The most important characteristic for establishing a lasting relationship with a client is a salesperson’s willingness to provide service. Your only competitive advantage to separate yourself from your competition is the level of customer service you provide. It’s not your products, (Everybody is selling a comparable product) – it’s not your price (Someone is always willing to sell theirs for less)  – its service. Customer loyalty is established over a long period of time. Your clients must believe that you truly care about them and their welfare. Clients must believe that you have their best interest in mind.

How do you get someone to like you? The first thing you do is run out and buy a copy of Dale Carnegie‘s  book ” How to Win Friends and Influence People” What was true back in 1936 when he wrote the book – still holds true today. Treat people with respect and they will respond in kind. Keep in mind that respect is reciprocal. It’s not something that you can demand. It is something that you earn. You’ve got to give it first before you get it back.

Keys to Developing Personal and Professional Relationships Built on Mutual Respect and Trust

  • Different is just that – different. Just because others go about doing things differently than you – it doesn’t make it wrong. Embrace and celebrate the differences in people.
  • Listen to the other person’s point of view and don’t interrupt. (I listen to understand not necessarily to agree)
  • Be open-minded. Try to see things from the other persons point of view.
  • Be flexible. Does it have to be your way or no way? Will their way of doing it get the same results? Resist the urge to micro-manage.
  • Don’t argue – don’t try to bully the other person into agreeing with you. You are adults. You can agree to disagree.
  • Don’t be condescending or talk down to the other person. You are dealing with an Adult – treat them that way.
  • Don’t resort to name calling and putting the other person down – especially behind their back.
  • Don’t verbally or physically attack the other person.
  • Treat the other person the way you want to be treated.
  • Respect the fact that they have an opinion and they have a right to express that opinion – even if you don’t agree with it.
  • Effective communication takes two – the sender and the receiver. Make sure you are communicating with the other person in a style that they like.

One more thought worth thinking about. You communicate 93% of the time non-verbally. (38% by the tone of your voice and 55% of the time by your body language alone) Your words and actions must be as one or the other person will believe the non-verbal to be more accurate.  If you are sincere and truly want to build relationships with others that last – then it will be reflected in the way that you treat them. If what you are currently doing isn’t accomplishing that – then you need to change what you’re doing and try something else. Trust me – they don’t need to change – you do.  – Cheers. 🙂

Think it, Act it – You’ll Eventually Become It. You Can Have The Life You Want

Einstein’s definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting a difference result. You have to change the input to change the output. You’ve got to develop new habits. A good habit is a good result – plain and simple. (Of course the opposite is also true – bad habits produce bad results) We are adults and we can develop new habits. All we have to do is stop doing one thing and start doing another – and if we do it often enough – it will become us. Behaviorist’s suggest that if you do something twenty-one times in a row – you’ll have developed a new habit. I think for the most part that we are born with a blank slate. And that we learn to behave a certain way to get a certain result. Now if that’s true – then the way we act is a learned behavior. And if you agree that it’s a learned behavior – then that means we can unlearn it and replace it with something else.

Think it …

I’m not going to get too deep here – but your internal dialogue (What you say to yourself) has everything to do with how you react and act externally. If you feel sad – you’ll look sad. If you feel happy – you’ll look happy. Attitude – Your attitude is everything! You are whoever you think you are – it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you think you can or can’t – you’re absolutely right. If you think you can’t – then you are beat before you start. David knew he could defeat Goliath. He had faith in his own ability to pull it off. You need to believe in yourself. You need to believe that you are capable of doing whatever you set out to do. You need to believe that you can have the life you want.

Act it …

You need to start acting in a way that is going to get you what you want. What new habits do you have develop to get the kinds of results you need? What do you have to stop doing and start doing to accomplish what you set out to do? Do you need to learn how to communicate and interact more effectively – manage your time – cope with stress – solve problems, deal with difficult people and challenging situations or expand your circle of influence? If you are going to change the habit to change the result then you need to decide what new habit you need to develop. Once you’ve decided what you need to learn – then all you need to do is start doing it. It’s never easy to change – but you can change if you truly believe that you need to – that you need to change in order to have the life you want.

You’ll eventually become it …

Practice, practice, practice. Be patient – it takes time. But, the more you do it – the better you’ll get at it – and the better you get at it – the more you’ll do it without thinking about it. It will become ingrained in you – it will become part of you. Everything we choose to do alters our brain and it fundamentally changes who we are. Dr. Richard Restak, neuropsychiatrist and clinical professor of neurology at George Washington University believes it’s a process that continues until we die. The human brain has the ability to reprogram itself. All of the new research on the brain suggests that no matter how old you are, it’s never too late to change your brain for the better. Your brain doesn’t break down over time. The brain has a lifetime capacity for learning new things.

You can have the life you want …

You don’t have to settle. You can have the life you want – the life you imagined for yourself. If you are mentally and physically capable of doing and becoming who you really want to be – then the only thing standing in your way is you. All you have to do is learn how to get out of your own way. Stop doing one thing – and start doing another – and if you do it often enough – it will become you. Remember – You may have developed a certain way of behaving at a very young age but it doesn’t have to dictate where you end up or who you become. – Cheers. 🙂

* (C) Copyright 2012 – Brian Smith. Think it, Act it, You’ll Eventually Become it – You Can Have The Life You Want – is the title of my soon to be published self-help / personal development book. Stay tuned